How Food Businesses Can Benefit From Automating Their Calorie Labelling Process

The way certain businesses in England display their menus is about to change. Under new calorie labelling legislation, it will be mandatory for large food operators in the out-of-home sector to state the calorie content of the food they sell — relatively new territory for most food businesses. While adhering to calorie labelling legislation will change the way they share information with their customers, the implementation process will also create an opportunity for food operators to re-examine their supply chains and recipe management processes. 

Why is new legislation being put into place?

This new calorie labelling legislation is being introduced in an effort to tackle rising obesity levels in England. Obesity is one of the greatest long-term health challenges faced by the UK. The majority of adults (63%) are above a healthy weight, half of which are living with obesity. As well as this, one in every three children leaving primary school is overweight with 1 in 5 living with obesity (source).

Some people have highlighted that this will generate an additional burden on businesses. However it’s important to note that some studies have shown that businesses actually benefit from presenting calorie information by increasing customer loyalty, reducing food waste and increasing revenue by 3%. The same study demonstrated how average calories per transaction also fell by 6% when calories were displayed. In another study, this figure rises to as high as 11%. 

What information should be displayed?

Under the new legislation, calorie information must be displayed clearly and prominently at the point where the customer decides what food to buy. 

Required information includes:

                        • The energy content of the food in kilocalories (kcal).
                        • The reference portion to which the calorie information relates.
                        • A statement that ‘adults need around 2000 kcal a day’. 

The benefits of automating your calorie labelling process

For many food operators, adapting to this new legislation might seem like a mammoth undertaking. However this task is made significantly easier through investing in the right software and putting an automated calorie labelling system in place. To comply with new legislation in the smoothest, most time-efficient manner, it’s important to have a solution that combines recipe analysis, menu management, supplier management and dynamic digital menus. 

There are many benefits to putting such systems in place. Below, we will go through some of the key advantages. 

                          • Removes the time-consuming task of calculating calorie content: Calculating the exact calorie content of all recipes might seem like a daunting task. However, with Nutritics recipe analysis and menu management solutions, determining calorie values is made incredibly simple and straightforward. All you need to do is input your ingredients into the system and a nutrient profile is generated in real time. Whenever you need to make changes to your dish, its nutrient profile is automatically updated. This makes it much easier to update a recipe or add a completely new dish to your menu.
                        • Ensures accurate and reliable information: Nutritics has a comprehensive database of foods, which comes from a range of international resources such as those used in America, Australia and the UK. This extensive database is continually maintained, ensuring that you are displaying reliable and scientifically accurate information to your customers at all times. 
                        • Update supplier information in real time: An incredibly time-consuming task for food businesses involves collecting accurate and up-to-date food information from third-party sources. By integrating with menu management software and dynamic digital menus, this task is completely turned on its head. Third-party portals allow your suppliers to input the required information in an accurate format. This in turn is used to update your menu in real time. 
                        • Enhance your menu publishing and label-making capabilities: In order to comply with calorie labelling legislation, food operators will integrate with dynamic digital menus such as the Nutritics Ten Kites module. This menu publishing platform allows you to publish fully compliant, personalised digital menus on web pages, mobile apps and digital displays. The processes used to integrate with digital menus will also strengthen label-making capabilities.
                        • An opportunity to create a more streamlined business: Integrating with menu management and recipe analysis software will change the way you manage your entire supply chain. Adopting such processes opens up further opportunities to streamline your business. You can update menus in all your outlets from one central location, make changes to your dishes based on menu analytics, enhance recipes based on nutritional trends (such as low fat), automatically manage menu inventories, and reduce food wastage.

Future-proof your business:  By automating your calorie labelling process and integrating with menu management systems, you are giving your business a headstart on future legislative changes. This includes all legislation related to food waste management, sustainability and displaying nutritional information. In this way, complying with calorie labelling legislation is helping to future-proof your business.

Need advice on getting set up? Learn more about the upcoming legislation by visiting our resources page or book a free call with a member of our team.

Book a free consultation today and find out more!